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Public Notices

Under the Corps' Regulatory Program, a public notice is the primary method for advising all interested parties of a proposed activity for which a permit is sought. Soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impacts on the public interest. Public notices are also published to inform the public about new or proposed regulations, policies, guidance or permit procedures.

Public Notices published by the Sacramento District under the Regulatory Program are posted on this page. Once a public notice is available on-line, an email notification is sent to individuals on the appropriate mailing list.

Comments are due by the expiration date of the public notice.  Only comments submitted by email or in hard copy format through a delivery service, such as the U.S. Postal Service, can be accepted.   Comments must be submitted to the address listed in the public notice.

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SPK-2011-00253-Garfield County, CO

Published Nov. 26, 2012
Expiration date: 12/14/2012


SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Rifle Regional Water Purification Facility, which would result in permanent impacts to approximately 1.197 acres of wetlands and temporary impacts to 0.035 acre of waters of the United States, including wetlands. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.

AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States.

APPLICANT: Dick Deussen, City of Rifle, 202 Railroad Avenue, Rifle, Colorado 81650, (970) 625-6283

AGENT: Christie Blevins/Dan Lucey, Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc., 5300 Wellington Branch Drive, Suite 100, Gainesville, Virginia 20155, (703) 679-5600

LOCATION: The approximately 32-acre project site is located east of the City of Rifle, north of Interstate 70 and State Highway 6, within Section 15, Township 6 South, Range 93 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Latitude 39.5301°, Longitude -107.7655°, Garfield County, Colorado, and can be seen on the CO-RIFLE USGS 7.5’ Topographic Quadrangle.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct a new water purification facility and replace aging infrastructure including construction of a new raw water transmission line, facility access road and parking area and other required ancillary facilities. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to improve domestic water quality for the residents of the City of Rifle. The applicant believes there is a need to enhance water quality, replacing aging infrastructure, increase production capacity to meet the demands within the city. The attached drawings, maps and summaries provide additional project details.


Environmental Setting. The project site is approximately 32 acres in size and was the site of an extensive gravel extraction pit operation until 2005. There are a total of approximately 2.49 acres of palustrine emergent/scrub shrub and ephemeral stream channel types at the project site. Permanent impacts to 1.069 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands (PEM), 0.122 acre of palustrine scrub shrub wetlands (PSS) and 0.006 acre of ephemeral stream channel are proposed. The site is characterized by steep gradient upland areas at the toe of a hill slope with the prior gravel pit bottom existing as the footprint for the proposed water purification facility.

Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning project alternatives and alternative designs; however, the applicant states that it is not feasible to relocate the City’s existing water intake structure and associated infrastructure at another location. Additional information concerning project alternatives may be available from the applicant or their agent. Other alternatives may develop during the review process for this permit application. All reasonable project alternatives, in particular those which may be less damaging to the aquatic environment, will be considered.

Mitigation. The Corps requires that applicants consider and use all reasonable and practical measures to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources. If the applicant is unable to avoid or minimize all impacts, the Corps may require compensatory mitigation. The applicant has proposed to purchase 1.191 acre of in-kind wetland mitigation credits (1.069 acre PEM and 0.122 acre PSS) and also purchase 0.006 acre (approximately 263 linear feet) of in-kind stream mitigation credits. Credit purchase would occur at an approved mitigation bank servicing this area.

OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification. Additionally, the CDPHE, Water Quality Control Division, Grants and Loan Unit is acting as the lead federal agency for this project and has completed all National Environmental Policy Act requirements.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, completed Section 106 of the NHPA for this project. Based on the available information, including USDA consultation correspondence with the Colorado SHPO dated April 20, 2011, no cultural resources were identified within the project's area of potential effect.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: Based on the available information, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s transfer as lead federal agency for Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the proposed activity may affect Federally-listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat. Consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the ESA, including a signed Recovery Agreement, dated 21 December 2005, is complete for this action.

The above determinations are based on information provided by the applicant and our preliminary review.

EVALUATION FACTORS: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the described activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the described activity, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the described activity will be considered, including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. The activity's impact on the public interest will include application of the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 230).

The Corps is soliciting comments from the public, Federal, State, and local agencies and officials, Indian tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2011-00253 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before December 14, 2012.

Mark Gilfillan, Project Manager/Tribal Liaison
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Colorado West Regulatory Branch, 400 Rood Avenue
Room 224, Grand Junction, Colorado 81501-2563
FAX (970) 241-2358

The Corps is particularly interested in receiving comments related to the proposal's probable impacts on the affected aquatic environment and the secondary and cumulative effects. Anyone may request, in writing, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests shall specifically state, with particularity, the reason(s) for holding a public hearing. If the Corps determines that the information received in response to this notice is inadequate for thorough evaluation, a public hearing may be warranted. If a public hearing is warranted, interested parties will be notified of the time, date, and location. Please note that all comment letters received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act. If you have questions or need additional information please contact the applicant, the applicant’s agent, Ms. Christie Blevins or the Corps' project manager Mark Gilfillan, 970-243-1199 x15,

Attachments: 13 drawings, 3 maps, and 1 wetland impact summary table